What would you do if a man approached you in the street and asked you to put on his headphones? For 167 out of the 200 people Michael Burdett asked, their response was to listen. What met their ears was a version of Nick Drake’s soaring Cello Song, not heard for over 30 years.
In the Seventies, Burdett was a post-boy at Island Records when he came across a dumped tape intriguingly labelled, “Nick Drake, Cello Song. With love.” It was 20 years before he actually listened to it, discovering an earthy version of Drake’s famed song and another few years passed before he decided what to do with his discovery. Inspiredly, instead of releasing it into the online ether, Burdett travelled the length and breadth of Britian, stopping some famous people and some not on streets, hills and work places to offer them a chance to hear the song. Each time, he took a portrait of the listener.
The results are now on display at the Idea Generation gallery in East London. The Strange Face Project, takes it’s name from the first line of Cello Song and also refers to the expressions Burdett observed of his listeners and a fitting ode to one of music’s lost talents.
The Strange Face Project is at the Idea Generation gallery until Sunday, February 12. ideageneration.co.uk
Few men possess the kind of personal style that can start a female fashion frenzy. But Karl Lagerfeld, the world knows, is no ordinary gentleman. Last Wednesday his Net-A-Porter range, Karl, sparked a global rush for cutaway leather gloves and stiff necked white collars. And thanks to some innovative use of augmented reality pop-up windows, shopping online has never felt so communal. With windows in New York, Paris, Sydney, Berlin and of course Net-A-Porter’s hometown London, this was a truly Twenty-first century collaboration.
While many of the key items sold out in a flash, there are still many covetable pieces, sleeveless biker vests and gladiator sandals for two, that are just a few clicks away from landing on your doormat. If you haven’t already, it’s time to get online with Karl.
Yesterday marked the end of the Spring/Summer 2012 couture shows. The proverbial creme de la creme of fashion, only allowed to show during this three-day short Fashion Week through a Chambre Syndicale De La Haute Couture membership – haute couture doesn’t mean high dressmaking in French for nothing – showed a degree of craftsmanship and attention to detail all across the fashion spectrum.
Twin recounts our haute couture highlights from Paris…
Proving that haute couture doesn’t have to keep to a demure palette, Mabille punched up the colour factor with his neon designs. Inspired by photographs of Lisa Fonssagrives and Christy Turlington, the creations in fabrics ranging from metallic lame to guipure lace proved that even when it comes to couture, girls just want to have fun.
Working with crepe de soie, fur collars and wide-legged tailored trousers, Jarrar’s collection was a take on casual luxe. A bit of tomboy and a dash of urban sophisticate resulted in a whole lot of effortless cool.
No couture week is complete without Karl Lagerfeld’s latest mind musings. Taking the double Cs to a more ethereal place this time around (airplane runway, anyone?) resulted in a collection of beautifully hand-embellished pieces in icy blues, ivories and midnight blacks.
Elie Saab is the go-to designer for anything feminine and delicate, and this season was no exception. Lace and crystal embroidery on nude, pastel pink and pale lemon high-waisted dresses and A-line skirts made being a woman that bit more enticing.
It may only be Valli’s second showing on the haute couture circuit, but the Italian designer proves that he can hold his own among fashion’s heavyweights. With a plethora of expertly tailored feather, lace and embroidered pieces, he’s as couture as they come.
Jean Paul Gaultier
In a beehive and winged eyeliner tribute to Amy Winehouse, Gaultier sent out a collection that was every bit as eccentric and nonchalant as the late singer herself. Encompassing pieces such as back to black shirt-tail hem skirts, leather varsity jackets and silk kimono coats tied at the waist, Winehouse probably wouldn’t have wanted her couture any other way.
Maison Martin Margiela Artisanal
Leave it to the house of Margiela to put an unconventional spin on couture. Rope, braided bracelets and hundreds of pearlescent buttons were turned into knee-length trench coats, colourful micro dresses, and slouchy blazer and pegged trouser combos, proving that recycled fashion doesn’t have to be drab.
It has only taken a few seasons for Pier Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri to fully establish their trademark of girlish and graceful designs at Valentino. Marking a sweet end to haute couture fashion week, this collection of chiffon, lace and tulle in fine floral prints had a glamourised Charlotte Brontë/Jane Austen novel feel to it. Piccioli and Chiuri clearly have a talent for capturing fashion daydreams.
A multi-media exploration of the interaction between fashion, movement and appropriation, the House Of Yvonne exhibition showcases the work of Colin Self, Kenneth Anger, Sophie Macpherson and Clare Stephenson.
Self’s colourful pencil drawings of female subjects from the 1960s, addressing the zeitgeist of passivity and fear during the Cold War, as well as the escapism that entertainment offered during this period, will be on display.
Whilst Self’s work is a thoughtful reflection on the isolation of the individual, consumer culture and politics, the screening of American film artist Kenneth Anger’s 6-minute short film Puce Moment offers an exploration of Hollywood hedonism.
Glasgow-based creative Sophie Macpherson, known for her work on the formation of self-identity through communication, presents an archive of Barbara Hulanicki for Biba dresses for the exhibit, while sculpture artist Clare Stephenson has created digital cut-and-paste martini glass designs as a representation of decadence.
Showing in the Victorian-style interior of temporary arts space The Hidden Noise, House Of Yvonne is an interesting and eye-opening fusion of art and fashion.
House Of Yvonne is on display at The Hidden Noise, 1/1, 24 Hayburn Crescent, Glasgow, G11 5AY, until February 11. thehiddennoise.info
Central Saint Martins graduate Mary Katrantzou is undoubtedly one of fashion’s current favourites.Those who haven’t been able to grab one of her highly-coveted digital print pieces now have the chance to own a fluorescently bright handbag created by the Greek designer.
Part of her collaboration with Longchamp and now available exclusively at Colette Paris, the totes in 3D prints of lanterns, orchids and aquariums are the perfect excuse to put a bit of Katrantzou in your closet.
As a fashion editor, Grace Coddington has created limitless fantasy worlds, earning a reputation for a meticulous eye and rare imagination. Now a new exhibition of her ex-husband Willie Christie’s work shows her not only as an image-maker, but as the image itself. Throughout the Seventies and Eighties, Coddington collaborated with her then husband on a series of experimental fashion photographs. The little seen results are now part of an exhibition of Christie’s work at London’s Eight Club. From hauntingly lit scenes of cinematic glamour to striking and powerful monochrome portraits it’s an opportunity to gaze at the beauty of one of fashion’s most important and enigmatic visionaries.
Willie Christie’s Limited Edition Collection is on show at the Eight Club, London EC3 until 24th February.
This month Covent Garden’s Aram Gallery brings together a pick and mix cross section of the design world’s fascination with 3D printing. The umbrella term for Rapid Prototyping or Additive Manufacturing, 3D printing allows designers to use strands of, typically, polyamide or nylon in place of ink to create 3D objects based on a computer drawn image.
The nascent print form was adopted for producing prototypes but is now being explored as a means to an end. The Send to Print / Print to Send exhibition unites designers and studios both emerging and established to showcase not only the enduring significance of this stage in the design process, but also the potential of this technology.
Highlights include Chau Har Lee’s exquisite heels – a departure from more conventional footwear, but nonetheless visually arresting – modern tapestries by Chloe McCormich and Nicholas O’Donnell-Hoare and Assa Ashuach’s textual homeware. These designers are not only experts in their fields, but dare to dabble with 3D printing to take their designs to the next level.
Chau Har Lee comments: “My knowledge of traditional shoemaking helps me know how and where I can break boundaries. Importantly, although my most conceptual designs are showpieces, they are still built to adorn the foot.”
Perhaps Chloë McCormick sums it up best, though, when she says, “the intention of Warped Tapestry was not to work against new technologies but to find a balance where they would work with each other.”
Send to Print / Print to Send is at The Aram Gallery, 110 Drury Lane, London WC2B 5SG until 25th February. thearamgallery.org
Assa Ashuach, Twist Loop Light
Chloë McCormick Warped Tapestry, 2010
Chloë McCormick and Nicholas O’Donnell-Hoare, Tapestry Spectacle, 2011
(Top) Chau Har Lee, Rapid Form Shoe, 2009
Images courtesy of The Aram Gallery and Shira Klasmer.
Sam Winston is serious about doodling. Whether he’s drawing circles or rearranging words, his painstaking works play with shape and language to talk about life and death. From tomorrow he’s holding a pop up registry office in the Royal Festival Hall where he’ll commemorate the quarter of a million lives that are born and die in the space of 12 hours around the world.
Members of the public can add themselves and their loved ones to the work. Each circle will mark the ebb and flow of life, showing people as more than just a number.
Sam Winston: Birthday will be at the Royal Festival Hall 27 January – 29 January, 10am – 11pm. samwinston.com
For fashion students, photography lovers and art fanatics, Claire de Rouen’s bookshop, hidden away above a sex shop on Charing Cross Road, was an oasis of rare prints, signed editions and fledgling publications. A larger than life character, with her striking ageless style and ever present alsation pug Otis, Claire’s passing last week after a prolonged illness is a loss to all who prize independence and personality and to those resisting the creeping tide of a homogeneous culture.
There was room for everyone in her shop, all were free to browse or buy, and on her shelves young talent jostled happily alongside huge names. Twin can only thank and pay our respects to a woman who strove to deliver the best and allow the young to flourish.
A major Tate exhibition of Yayoi Kusama’s work doesn’t even open for another three weeks, but Twin are already dotty with anticpation. Such is the appeal of the Japanese artist’s work and personal story that the exhibition is shaping up to be the most exciting of 2012.
Since 1977, Japan’s foremost contemporary artist has, of her own free will, lived in a psychiatric institution and has been a victim of her own neurotic and obsessional behaviour. This behaviour however, has transformed itself over four decades, into startling, astounding art.
Come February 9th, the Tate Modern offers a diverse parade of her work, from paintings and drawings, to captured performances and immersive installations.She may be mostly known for her slight dot obsession, but this exhibition explores further, celebrating her intensely fruitful career, and is sure to only garner her more fervent followers.
Yayoi Kusama is at the Tate Modern from 9th February – 5th June 2012 tate.org.uk